Pay $10,000 for a Billboard in Support of an NFL Quarterback, or Give the Money to the QB’s Personal Charity?

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September 15, 2011; Source: ESPN (Associated Press) | What do you think of Tim Tebow’s footwork? How about how he throws the football? Will the former University of Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner be able to become a legitimate pocket passer in the NFL like Tom Brady of the New England Patriots or Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts?

Some of Tebow’s more adamant fans said they planned to raise $10,000 to buy two billboards urging Denver Broncos Head Coach John Fox to put Tebow into the starting QB spot ahead of Kyle Orton.

Tebow was flattered, but announced to the press that the fans shouldn’t bother. If they were going to raise 10 grand, he’d rather see them give the money to his foundation and trust that the Broncos coaching staff, particularly head coach John Fox, will make the right decision about who should be the starting QB.

The press reaction to Tebow’s statement was all about how upset he might be, if at all, backing up Orton. No one that we saw asked, “What is Tim Tebow’s foundation all about?” So we looked it up.

The Tim Tebow Foundationhas a very broad mission statement: “The Foundation utilizes the public platform that God has blessed Tim Tebow with to inspire and make a difference in people’s lives throughout the world.” Its core values are Tebow’s own, described as follows:

Tim Tebow has been very open about his faith and as a follower of Jesus Christ, has always expressed his gratitude to his Lord and Savior. His faith was the bedrock of his motivation for launching the Foundation. He has often expressed a clear desire that anyone who wants to work with him in helping to bring a brighter day to people, are welcome to partner with the organization.

Although it has an eclectic mix of initiatives, including the W15H program that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening injuries, the foundation seems mostly oriented toward promoting Tebow’s well-known religious beliefs. The website says, “The primary strategy for achieving our vision is to utilize the public platform of Tim Tebow through the scheduling of speaking engagements, special events, mission trips and by using both traditional and non-traditional publishing and social media tools.”

Billboards were unlikely to get Tebow anything (the head coach had already said he wouldn’t even look at them), but a contribution to his eponymous charity looks like it will help Tebow score.—Rick Cohen